Driver Struck By 13-Pound Wood Block Recovering

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A Fort Smith woman is recovering after a 13-pound block of wood came crashing through her car windshield, smashing both her hand and her face. The victim, Samantha Baker, said the driver responsible took off. Now, her family is working with police to try to figure out what happened.

Baker was on her way home, driving from Fort Smith to Van Buren on Highway 64-D Wednesday (April17). Her dad and her three-year-old daughter were both in the car with her.

"My dad told me that as he was looking down, I said, 'Oh my!' and it just came through the windshield and hit me," Baker said.

The impact was so strong that her dad had to physically pull her off the steering wheel to stop the car.

"My leg just tightened and I pushed down on the gas," Baker said. "My dad had to pull my leg off the gas to get the vehicle back under control."

Baker's husband, Derek, said he heard about the accident just moments after it happened.

"I was outside in the backyard playing with my son and I got a call that there had been an accident," Derek remembered. "That's basically all I was told. That she was in an accident and it was bad."

According to the police report, the block of wood fell off from another vehicle but that driver took off leaving Baker in critical condition. Neither Baker nor her dad got a good description of the vehicle. No witnesses stopped.

"All we have to go off of is this big block of wood," Baker said.

"I can't believe it happened," Baker said. "I mean, it's just something you think would never happen to anybody. And it scares me to know I could've lost my family. They could've lost me. And to know that I survived something like that."

Baker's injuries were so severe she needed both intensive facial and hand surgery immediately.

"I have all of these metal plates in my face now," Samantha Baker said. "It just, it hurts so bad. And then there's my hand. It was just destroyed."

The family is working with police to find the driver responsible. But without a description of the car or the driver, they say they're having a hard time figuring out how to put the pieces together.

The Bakers are now hoping someone who saw the accident happen will come forward with more information.

"It kills me," Baker said, in reference to the driver leaving the scene of the accident. "I mean how could you not see it out of your rear view mirror?  You could've been going really fast and just not noticed, but surely you would've seen something that big fly off the back of your vehicle. I mean it's a 13 pound block of wood. It’s huge."

If you happened to see this accident happen, you're asked to call the Oklahoma State Highway Patrol at (918) 683-3256.